Dodgers: 3 starting pitchers LAD could target after Clayton Kershaw injury

Adam Weinrib
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 29: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers walks into the dugout prior to a game against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium on June 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 29: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers walks into the dugout prior to a game against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium on June 29, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) /
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JULY 6: Jose Berrios #17 of the Minnesota Twins walks to the dugout after pitching to the Chicago White Sox in the seventh inning of the game at Target Field on July 6, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The White Sox defeated the Twins 4-1. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

2. Jose Berrios

What, you thought we were going to say Kenta Maeda?

A reunion would be somewhat adorable, but the Maeda we saw in 2020 has essentially vanished in 2021, and he’d be more of a buy-low candidate than anything else. Last season, it looked like LA had surrendered a future ace (80 whiffs in 66.2 innings, 0.75 WHIP, second place in the Cy Young chase). This year? That WHIP has doubled to 1.452, and the 4.56 FIP doesn’t inspire us.

Jose Berrios is the most attractive Twins starter by a wide margin, and recent buzz indicates he’s more available than ever. Armed with a year and a half of control and a powerful 27-year-old arm, though, he won’t be given away.

Los Angeles is in a great spot to talk Berrios, though. He’s not an ace — which is fine. The Dodgers have Walker Buehler and Kershaw, eventually, to man that territory. If Berrios is a No. 2 or No. 3, that’s fantastic — he has posted nearly the same season every year of his career, featuring a mid-3.00s ERA and just about the same number of strikeouts as innings pitched. As long as the Twins aren’t valuing him as Buehler lite, LA could strike a bargain here.

Gray and Keibert Ruiz would likely be out here, but expect Michael Busch/Kody Hoese/Bobby Miller and Los Angeles’ leaders of their second prospect tier to be on the table. Busch is about to get a well-earned Futures Game showcase — as well as intriguing righty Andre Jackson — and this might shock you, but the Dodgers are probably hoping for a big game on the national stage. Talks begin and end with Busch right now, and LA would like him to have momentum.

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